Mpofu makes fresh attempt for inquiry to subpoena Ramaphosa

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Dali Mpofu wants the Section 194 committee to subpoena President Cyril Ramaphosa to give testimony. Photo: Jan Gerber/ Media 24
Dali Mpofu wants the Section 194 committee to subpoena President Cyril Ramaphosa to give testimony. Photo: Jan Gerber/ Media 24
Jan Gerber

NEWS


The legal representation of suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane wants the Section 194 committee to subpoena President Cyril Ramaphosa to give testimony.

In the early days of the parliamentary inquiry, which is on its fifth week, Mpofu had indicated that they would call for Ramaphosa to come and testify in the inquiry. If he refused to attend voluntarily, he would be subpoenaed.

At that time, Mpofu said Ramaphosa would be called in to testify “on the fact that he has made certain accusations against the Public Protector, saying she’s guilty of perjury and all sorts of things, which would be impeachable if they’re true”.

READ: Mkhwebane suffers another legal blow in latest ruling against Pillay

On Wednesday, Mpofu addressing the Section 194 chairperson, Qubudile Dyantyi, said Mkhwebane’s legal team had written to him regarding Ramaphosa’s subpoena.

“Just for the record and the attention of the members, yours and also the public’s, because we have been getting inquiries, but we thought before we could respond to those inquiries out of respect, we should raise this matter here in the formal hearing.

“Chair, by now you would have received a letter from us from the 8th [of August]. That is the day before the public holiday pertaining to the request that we’re making to you to take the necessary steps to subpoena or summon President Cyril Ramaphosa given the report that we last gave that he had declined the invitation to appear voluntarily.” He said:

That letter, I am sure, has either reached you now or it will reach you if it is still in the pipeline.

In a separate request last month, Ramaphosa declined to appear before the inquiry following a suggestion by United Democratic Movement president Bantu Holomisa to testify about the CR17 campaign report by Mkhwebane.

However, in a statement last month, presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the Constitutional Court had ruled last year that Mkhwebane had no authority to investigate the CR17 campaign because it was not an organ of state, and, therefore, did not fall within Mkhwebane’s ambit.

Magwenya said the apex court was the:

final arbiter of justice and its judgments must be accepted and respected.

He also added that Ramaphosa had not made any allegations against Mkhwebane and therefore there was no need to appear before the inquiry.

‘Recall witnesses’

Mpofu also told Dyantyi that he would also receive a letter asking for the recall of witnesses that he had not finished cross-examining.

These were former Sars executive Johann van Loggerenberg and deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay.

Mpofu had mentioned at the end of their cross-examination that he would ask that they reappear before the committee to conclude some questions that they had not answered.

Dyantyi said he would respond to Mpofu once he had received the letters.


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